Google’s Android Wear has all the support in the world to make it a success, but Google’s wearables platform seems as though it was designed as a reaction to Samsung’s success with its own smartwatches and an offensive move against Apple and the Apple Watch. Samsung’s Gear S, released in 2014, had both Wi-Fi and 3G support, but it took Google until recently to provide Wi-Fi support for its Bluetooth-only models. Now, however, Android Wear finally plays something of a catch-up with Samsung and Tizen as Google announces cellular connectivity for its own Android Wear platform. The announcement was made on Wednesday from Google’s very own Android Official Blog:
Today, we’re bringing cellular support to Android Wear, so you can stay connected in even more places. No more worrying about Bluetooth or Wi-Fi—your watch will automatically switch to a cellular connection when you’re out of range as long as your watch and phone are connected to a cellular network, you’ll be able to use your watch to send and receive messages, track fitness, get answers from Google, and run your favorite apps.
From Google’s own statement, we gather that your watch and phone must have cellular connectivity, otherwise, it’s impossible. In other words, Bluetooth-only models won’t get to enjoy the same freedom that cellular-connected smartwatches will. Call it crazy, but the law of the land in the US concerning 3G and 4G connectivity is that you must first have an agreement with carriers before you’ll be allowed to experience cellular data. Most carrier agreements for smartwatch connectivity only mandate $5 a month in additional fees (even for children), so you won’t pay too high of a price to enjoy more mobile freedom than you’ve ever had.
In the same announcement, Google makes mention of the new LG Watch Urbane LTE, Second Edition. You can read more about the smartwatch here.
Google’s bringing cellular connectivity, and all we can say is, “it’s about time!”